Area teams prepare for start of high school softball season

·3 min read

Aug. 3—Christian Heritage

Last year's record: N/A

Coach: Kent Harrison

Region 7-A D-II

Christian Heritage is set to get back to the softball field in 2022 after not fielding a team last year.

Kent Harrison, the head of school for Christian Heritage and the school's baseball coach, leads the Lady Lions. Michael Leonard coached Christian Heritage for more than a decade, then Steven Rogers was hired prior to last year.

Christian Heritage competes in Region 7 in Class A's Division II.

Coahulla Creek

Last year's record: 7-13

Coach: Josh Swiney

Region 6-3A

Coahulla Creek looks to make it back to the playoffs in a tough Region 6-3A after a playoff absence a year ago broke a streak of playoff contention.

Josh Swiney leads the Lady Colts as he enters his 10th year coaching the program. The Lady Colts bring back Caroline Reed, who was named first team All-Region 6-3A last year as a freshman shortstop.

Dalton

Last year's record: 5-12

Coach: Stacy Parker

Region 7-5A

Head coach Stacy Parker enters his tenth season leading the Lady Catamounts, which play in Region 7-5A. The Lady Catamounts look to return to the state playoffs for the first time since 2019.

Catcher Ella Hill, who was a first team All-Region 5-6A performer last season as a freshman, returns for Dalton, as does first team All-Region 5-6A first baseman Aliza Martinez.

Seniors Claire Archer and Gracie Young, junior Cadence Blackwell and sophomore pitcher Kaylee Tatum also look to make noise for the Lady Cats.

Murray County

Last Year's record: 8-18

Coach: Lindsey Johnson

Region 7-2A

Murray County missed out on the playoffs in the first year under head coach Lindsey Johnson, but the Lady Indians enter Class 2A this season with the hopes of reaching the state tournament.

Kylie Usrey is the only senior on a young roster for Murray County, which sports five freshmen, three sophomores and four juniors.

North Murray

Last year's record: 6-16-1

Coach: Steve Granger

Region 7-2A

After finishing winless two seasons ago, North Murray improved to 6-16-1 last year. In the second year in Steve Granger's second stint as head coach, the Lady Mountaineers aim to keep improving.

Granger returned to the job last season after Jeff Samples ran the program for two years.

North Murray brings back outfielder Karsen Baldridge, who was a first team All-Region 6-3A performer a year ago as a sophomore outfielder.

Northwest Whitfield

Last year's record: 24-12

Coach: Todd Middleton

Region 7-4A

Northwest Whitfield will have the full attention of head coach Todd Middleton as he enters his 11th season as head coach of the Lady Bruins. He retired from his role as head baseball coach this spring.

Middleton will try to coach Northwest back to the state playoffs after the Lady Bruins made a run to the Class 4A Elite 8 last season.

Northwest would have to accomplish that this season without last year's Dalton Daily Citizen All-Area Player of the Year, pitcher Kylie Hayes, who graduated in 2022, along with several other senior contributors from last year's squad.

Junior third shortstop Eden Rann, a first team All- Region 7-4A player a year ago, returns, along with the senior duo of Abygail and Alyson Jarvi. Northwest also welcomes freshman Jolie Albertson, who won MLB's Junior Home Run Derby under-14 competition for softball this summer.

Southeast Whitfield

Last year's record: 0-24

Coach: Cortney Phillips

Region 7-4A

Playing in a difficult region, which sent four of its teams to the state's Elite 8, was tough on Southeast Whitfield last year.

Head coach Cortney Phillips is back for her second year on the job, and she'll be tasked with helping navigate another tough slate for Southeast this season.